Advocating for Mandatory Flu Shots for Health Care Workers

The American Academy of Pediatrics recently issued an interesting policy statement, saying that flu shots should be mandatory for health care workers. Other professional organizations that have made the same proposal include the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the National Patient Safety Foundation and the Society of Health Care Epidemiology of America.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics showed, in January, that only 35% of health care workers received the H1N1 and seasonal flu vaccines. It appears that the voluntary vaccination policy that many states have at the moment isn’t working. Consumer Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, recently published a report showing that the current voluntary model isn’t compelling people to get vaccinated.In contrast, in states where it is legal to require flu shots for health care workers, some medical centers have made the flu shot a condition of employment for health care jobs.The University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, for instance, started to require vaccines when a voluntary policy wasn’t working and they found a 99% vaccination rate in 2009 as a result.As Dr. Neil Fishman, the director of health care epidemiology and infection prevention at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center said, “This is a no-brainer and it’s almost embarrassing that we have to get to the point of mandating it for the health of our patients.”

Janice Marks

Janice Marks – A retired nurse and home health care professional, Janice has written prolifically about the American health care system. As a writer for Left Justified focused on the current changes in the health care community, she weaves her professional background and expertise into her evaluation of the current health care issues facing the American government and people. Contact Janice at janicemarks(at)

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